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The Tailors' Thread: Fit Feedback and Alteration Suggestions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by emptym, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

    Messages:
    530
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    Dec 24, 2012
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    No, I didn't miss anything in my last post.

    FYI to anyone reading this thread, I am primarily an alterations tailor who supplies MTM clothing to my clients. I have my own business and i am completely self-taught. I've been in business just over a year with about another year of experimentation before that. I have an ever growing list of clients for each service and I devote A LOT of time to doing this. It's certainly not just a hobby.
    I may have an unusually high comprehension ability for what i do and I won't sell myself short on my skill and ability, but I am no Despos, a tailor, or jefferyd. I'm not a true cutter...yet.
    Just being transparent in case my diagnosis in the thread differ from someone else with greater experience.

    PM me anytime if you're ever looking for clarification on something I've commented on.
     
  2. romancommander

    romancommander Member

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    Aug 5, 2012
    Hey OTCtailor, thanks for the insight. I download the TimerCam App for my iphone so I can take pictures of myself in the proper posture.. After looking at these new pictures it looks as though the lower back is brought in too tight. Never noticed that before. My tailor has done that in both jackets. Not sure why. Both jackets have been heavily altered by the way. The shoulders were brought up, sides taken in, sleeves taken in and shortened, and I think he did something around the armholes to make them less baggy. Anyway, hope they help.

    Does the tailor that altered these suits know what he is doing? He does alterations for a bunch of high end stores and seems really knowledgeable....




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    The picture below shows the back when my suit is buttoned up.

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    The picture below is my other gray jacket done from the same tailor.

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    Picture of the back of the grey jacket when the suit is buttoned up.

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    Picture of the back of the grey jacket when the buttons are undone.

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    Picture of the back of the navy jacket when the buttons are undone.

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  3. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
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    Dec 10, 2010
    Location:
    People's Republic of San Francisco
    Thanks, OTCt. Net-net, I think you've added to the discussion.
     
  4. sleepyjack

    sleepyjack Member

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    5
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    Jan 8, 2013
    Hi there, I'm new to tailoring, but my question is about button detailing rather than fit. I was wondering if someone could please answer a question about colourful suit buttons — yea or nay?

    I recently had a blue plaid (with some red stripes) three-piece suit made. It's my first "fun" (i.e. not work or professional attire) suit.

    However, I thought it would be cool to have some odd/contrasting buttons on the suit rather than the standard black buttons that came on the surgeon's cuffs, vest and front of the blazer.

    I'm wondering if it's a bad idea to get some coloured buttons to replace the black buttons on the suit right now. I was thinking something red, or mother of pearl, or kind of a brown horn/tortoise shell kind of thing. Would this just look hideous? Would it just ruin the look of the suit if it doesn't match?

    Sorry I don't have a photo since the suit is still being altered, but the pattern is similar to this:

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    And for a couple examples of the contrast buttons that I thought looked pretty good:

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    If you guys have any advice, I'd appreciate it!
     
  5. otc

    otc Senior member

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    14,207
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    Aug 15, 2008
    Hey guys-- thanks for everything you have already done for this forum :)

    I've got something to throw in the ring. Is this salvagable? I've been looking for a cotton khaki suit for a while and this was marked down super cheap so I'm willing to throw some money at tailoring it, but otherwise, I can still return it to the store.

    I am kind of hard to fit into clothing (I met Despos at a dinner a while back and he made some comment as to that the minute I stood up). My shoulders are pretty square and I am barrel chested so things tend to either pull in the chest or be too big everywhere else...and my outer quads are relatively large which makes pants fit funny (usually the pockets pull open and they are pretty taught across the front)

    Buttoned up:
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    Arms out:
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    Button open
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    Button Open Side:
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    Button Open Back:
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    Just the pants:
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    Pants and sleeve ends are unfinished so those can be put to any length (I just folded the pants in to an approximate hem). There is a fold across the back behind the neck that I usually have to have fixed by taking in fabric at the collar. The lapels start to bend a little bit but it is not horrible (and may be acceptable to me in a casual cotton suit).

    Pants look pretty bad though....seem so full in the top block and yet the pockets still pull open. Can this be fixed? I suck at pants :(
     
  6. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy Senior member

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    Jul 13, 2012
    Location:
    Tokyo
    otc, I`d approach it from this perspective - if you are looking for a casual everyday suit and you paid $200-300 for it, live with it. If thats a $500 investment and you have the possibility to return it, get your $ back. So many comments here are on fine details, which is fine, but it`s also a question of convenience and cost...
     
  7. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy Senior member

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    Jul 13, 2012
    Location:
    Tokyo
    OTCtailor - my advice would be with your posture to go for bigger collars and more classic cuts and your posture (quite like mine) will be masked....enjoy!
     
  8. daizawaguy

    daizawaguy Senior member

    Messages:
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    Jul 13, 2012
    Location:
    Tokyo
    From my experience with Asian tailors (mainly Hong Kong) this guy knows his stuff and you have found a great tailor!
     
  9. otc

    otc Senior member

    Messages:
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    Aug 15, 2008
    

    Well, I paid more like $50-60 for it so even with some alterations, it is well below $500. Unfortunately, it really doesn't seem flattering as it is....and obviously I can't return after having it altered if the changes can't make it look nice.
     
  10. hipslap

    hipslap Member

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    7
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    Jan 24, 2013
    Thanks for the consulting, guys. I'll look for a suit with the least-bad fit and stick to more casual clothes whenever I can get away with it. Since MTM won't work, I will put those pennies toward a bespoke a few years down the road.
     
  11. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

    Messages:
    530
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    Dec 24, 2012
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    MTM can you get you a pretty good and close result, you just need to really do your research before you consent.
     
  12. ICrane

    ICrane New Member

    Messages:
    3
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    Jan 13, 2013
    Hi everyone. I just received my first shirt from Modern Tailor (forgive the wrinkles) and would appreciate some feedback. The sleeves feel a little too long, but otherwise it seems to be ok. What do you think?


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  13. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

    Messages:
    530
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    Dec 24, 2012
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    What's going on with your suits has to do with you having that hollow lower back and prominent seat. Because of that, there are limitations on how much shaping and suppression you can get in the back before you have exactly what you're dealing with there. Those side seams are overworked.
    I wouldn't say the tailor doesn't know what he's doing because that just wouldn't be nice, but he's probably overworked and underpaid. The way to prevent what you're dealing with is to in part suppress from the front more than the back. It's more work but it sounds l like what he did for you already is a pretty good chunk of more complex alterations. Shortening the jacket, shortening and slimming sleeves, taking in up into the armhole...those are all time demanding jobs. It's hard to say specifically what is causing the problems your dealing with, but proper suppression is not done just from the back of the jacket, especially in your case.
     
  14. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

    Messages:
    530
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Regarding those contrasting buttons...
    I've changed out the buttons on many of my OTR suits. Many navy suits come with dark brown or mottled brown buttons. I switch them out for a mottled brown/tan. What you're doing there is attracting more attention to yourself. I believe in the Flusser-ism that the contrast of colors you wear should essentially match the contrast of your hair/skin tone. Since your suit with the bold plaid pattern is already pretty intense, I'd consider going with a button that is still tasteful even if it's contrasting. Too much contrast on bold patterns can be rough on the eyes.[​IMG][​IMG]
    I like buttons like these on navy-based suit for contrast.
     
  15. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    530
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    Dec 24, 2012
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    When you say you suck at pants, what does that mean?
    Anyway, I think the jacket is salvageable to a degree. It needs the collar roll fixed, for sure. No fix for the bowing lapels. It needs more chest width and the fronts are too short.
    Back could be cleaned up as well without a ton of difficulty.
    The pants are a different issue. The fullness in your legs makes you probably a better candidate for a higher rise pleated trouser, but to fix what you're dealing with on these, the waistband has to come up all the up to the fly. They have to be let out at the back and that fullness has to be shifted to the front of the pants in the form of a dart where you'd traditionally see pleats. The waistband is reattached. This basically re-distributes the fullness you need from the back to the front. Also, the pants are too full in the stride and the back rise is probably a little high.
    That fix isn't as severe as dropping the waistband because you're avoid taking the fly apart, but it's still a bit more complicated than just taking things in.
     
  16. sleepyjack

    sleepyjack Member

    Messages:
    5
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    Jan 8, 2013
    Brilliant — thanks for the quick reply and awesome advice!

    Really great to have a resource like this forum (and of course the knowledge of the tailors!). Thanks again.
     
  17. Ziminskas

    Ziminskas Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Hi, I need some help/advice on how to make a jacket of mine fit better. The main problem that I have with the jacket is that around my collar bones, the lapels "bow out." If I stand still, with my arms down, typically the lapels don't stick out too much; but if I make any movement with my arms, they really start to pull. The jacket has been altered....twice. First, the back was taken in (not the middle seam, but the seam on each side of my back) and the sleeves were slimmed down. After I got it back, I felt that it was too snug, so I took it back and the sides were let out a little. I have attached a link to another thread I started that was addressing this issue in a different part of the forum. There are different pictures in that thread, showing what happens when I move. Thanks!

    http://www.styleforum.net/t/333212/need-help-advice-on-how-to-fix-bowing-out-of-lapels

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  18. nautikal

    nautikal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    53
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    Aug 24, 2010
    I have the same issue as romancommander (hollow back and prominent seat). Would a center vent as opposed to side vents help avoid this problem for future suits? Of course you still have to be careful to avoid the vent opening, but maybe it will make the seat look smaller by hugging the body on the sides?
     
  19. tubby34

    tubby34 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Hi,
    I just started googling because I wanted a more custom fit suit and didn't know how they should properly fit. With alot of help on this forum, I was able to finally figure out why some suits have boxy shoulders (I don't like them) and to only try on the ones I wanted- (Natural Shoulders I believe it was called).

    Anyway, I recently picked up 3 suits and am curious as to how the fit looks. I know I'm a bit round in the midsection, so I will have to work on that. Any advice is appreciated. I have one suit left at the alterations place and I'm going to pick it up tomorrow.

    The first one is Gray and I had it altered by Macy's here in Miami. They altered the sleeve length, opened up the jacket a bit to fit better and hemmed the pants. It is originally a 48R

    The second one pictured (Navy Pinstriped) I bought at a thrift store for $30. It's a Michael Kors and it fit well enough to warrant buying and attempting to alter it to fit perfectly. This one was originally a 46R. I have not dry cleaned or pressed it- I actually bought it yesterday, had it tailored today and will be cleaning it and pressing it tomorrow. The alterations they did on it was to open up the back and sides, shorten the sleeves, hem the pants.

    I know I'm carrying a spare tire, so don't worry about offending me. I got thick skin....(get it?).
    Thanks fellas,
    Chris

    PS. I just looked at the photos, I'm not sure why it seems MY left shoulder looks lower than my right. If you want me to retake photos I'll be happy to do that. Thanks for all your help.

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  20. otc

    otc Senior member

    Messages:
    14,207
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    

    I mostly just mean that I suck at finding pants that fit without issue.
    I'm ok with the front length being on the short side...it will be worn casually .

    It sounds like maybe it can be made workable? Looking at the pictures now, it just seems to make it look like I am 20lbs heavier when it is buttoned in the front and like I am a square wooden block from the back.
     

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